The Art Institute of Chicago was gifted a $10 million commitment to keep its collection in pristine condition, the museum announced today. The monetary commitment is the largest donation to the museum's Department of Conservation and was made by the Grainger Foundation, located in Lake Forest.
While the commitment isn't the sexiest of gifts, the funds will aid in the preservation, study and storage of the Art Institute's current holdings. The money is being funneled into the newly-created Grainger Fund for Conservation, which will support staff in performing the extensive research that goes into putting together exhibitions, publishing their findings and curating museum events. The museum's director Douglas Druick said the new fund would help keep talented employees onboard and train staff in conservation efforts. This is likely the last major monetary gift Druick will see at the Art Institute, as he's retiring after 30 years of service. Stepping into his shoes soon is the museum's long-time contemporary art collection curator James Rondeau.
Since being named the best museum in the world, the Art Institute has been raking in some extremely generous donations. Last year, the museum received a collection of works worth an estimated $400 million, which included pieces by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenburg, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein. That gift was the largest donation of art in the museum's history.
Just last month, the Art Institute was given $35 million to build it's collection, which was also the largest donation of its kind.
This latest commitment will ride on the backs of these donations, ensuring the collection at the Art Institute remains in tip-top shape for years to come.